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AIA praises Korea trade pact


WASHINGTON—The American Insurance Assn. is hailing the new U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement as the "strongest outcome for financial services ever achieved in trade negotiations."

In a statement issued Monday concerning the April 1 agreement, AIA Vp and Assistant General Counsel David Snyder noted that South Korea agreed "to apply the full range of regulatory transparency provisions to assure that all insurers are treated equally."

The agreement is "is critically important to AIA and its members because Korea is the eighth-largest insurance market in the world, but for regulatory reasons, has been largely closed to us," Mr. Snyder added in a statement.

President Bush has told Congress he intends to enter into the agreement, on which Congress must vote.